The German interest in ITA may lead to a takeover battle. Air France-KLM is said to be also interested in the Italians as part of a consortium. US-based Certares Management LLC, a travel and tourism-focused investment company, is behind a rival bid, according to insiders. In doing so, the investor can receive commercial support from Air France-KLM and its American partner Delta Air Lines.
The Italian government, led by Prime Minister Mario Draghi, announced in February that it had started the process of selling ITA. The sale of the airline, in the wake of a series of failed attempts by other Italian governments, would mark a significant success for the former president of the European Central Bank.
The loss-making Alitalia could only continue to fly thanks to government support. The management of ITA previously announced that it wanted to speed up the process of finding cooperation partners. They should be found by the middle of this year, it sounds like.